Women entrepreneurs will help lead the farming sector through challenges of the next half-century, according to the guest speaker at an upcoming south-west conference.
Bulla Park mushroom farm chief executive officer Georgia Beattie will encourage dairy farmers to "lead their industry to a sustainable future" at the inaugural Cream of the Crop event in Port Campbell next week.
The event, to be held at the surf life saving club on Tuesday, February 22, has been billed as an opportunity for the region's farmers to network and celebrate the success of females in leading roles.
"I believe entrepreneurship is going to solve the fundamental challenges we're going to see in agriculture over the next 10 years, and I think females are better at it," Ms Beattie said.
"Data shows females are a lot more conscious of their contribution to society and will integrate those values into their business as well as achieving 35 per cent higher returns on investment."
Ms Beattie studied entrepreneurship in the United States before leading wine and tech businesses.
She then became Bulla Park's CEO three years ago.
It was her first experience in agriculture, and she gained the role after originally ringing the farm to buy mushrooms and ended up becoming a shareholder.
"That's what an entrepreneur does and I've learnt on the fly," Ms Beattie said.
"Rather than coming in from a family business, I've come in from an entrepreneurial perspective."
Ms Beattie now dedicates herself to growing smart and sustainable food and advancing more women entrepreneurs. She said female leaders would be vital in agriculture because of the need to adjust industry thinking to cater to evolving climate and consumer demand.
"We have to lead the way," Ms Beattie said. "We have to do things in a sustainable way and think about where our properties will be in 50 years' time."
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